What is a bio-mat?
A bio-mat is a layer of slimy dark-grey colored bacteria that forms and lives in your absorption field. This bacteria can slow your systems ability to absorb water by physically clogging the soil interface.
Some bio-mat is normal and in fact healthy. When nutrient ladened wastewater passes through the bio-mat, it consumes some of the wastewater’s nutrients, partially cleaning the water before it passes into the soil. Hydraulically overloading and high strength flows will optimize growing conditions for the bio-mat and enable it to chock off your system.
Secondary Treatment devices are known to prevent bio-mats from forming or breaking up existing bio-mats by cleaning the nutrients from the wastewater before it goes into your absorption field. Existing bio-mats will literally starve and break up without the presence of nutrients. This is also a good reason to have an alternating valve on your system.
Keep your bio-mat at bay by doing the following:
- Minimize your water usage
- Don’t use garbage disposals (or at least use them sparingly)
- Never dump kitchen grease down the drain!
- Put your septic system (and bio-mat) on a diet by not feeding them unnecessary foods and liquids. High calorie foods like gravies, sauces, oils, cake badder, etc. all will significantly increase your wastewater strength (BOD) and promote an escalating and unwanted bio-mat.